The Dreamers (novel series)
The Dreamers is the title of a fantasy series by David Eddings and his wife Leigh Eddings. The story revolves around four beings known as The Elder Gods residing in the land of Dhrall: Dahlaine of the North, Veltan of the South, Zelana of the West and Aracia of the East. They must recruit the help of outlanders to destroy the fiendish Vlagh and prevent its attempt at world conquest. The Vlagh is a creature whose more remarkable power is the ability to consciously direct the evolution of its minions, adapting them to the situation as required (the evolution is not instantaneous, but it takes months or even just days, as it is seen in the second book, The Treasured One). Most of Vlagh's creations are vaguely insect-like, venomous and violent, although some creatures have been bred human-like enough to pass as humans (and are used as spies). The creatures also share an Overmind, through which each of them knows and sees what the others do. Despite these major advantages, the Vlagh and the creatures of the Vlagh are not intelligent. They can't even understand the meaning of death which causes many defeats early on but as they fight more they begin to avoid simple traps like arrows and poisoned spikes that the protagonists use. As the Vlagh realizes this, the heroes have already designed new traps and strategies to confuse their enemy. However, the Elder Gods are not permitted to use their powers to kill, but the young Dreamers, infant forms of the Younger Gods: Eleria (originally Balacenia), Yaltar (originally Vash), Lillabeth (originally Enalla) and Ashad (originally Dakas), can use the powers of their dreams to foresee visions of the future as a warning to an attack and cause great natural disasters capable of mass destruction and killing.
The books are written in sections each with about 4-6 chapters and each time a new one is started, it usually gives background information on a specific character and then tells the story from their perspective. On occasions, it will have a new character in every chapter, such as in the section titled "Many Voices" in The Treasured One.
The series includes four titles:
- The Elder Gods (2003)
- The Treasured One (2004)
- Crystal Gorge (2005)
- The Younger Gods (2006)
The Elder Gods
|The Elder Gods|
|Author(s)||David and Leigh Eddings|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|LC Classification||CPB Box no. 2326 vol. 3|
|Followed by||The Treasured One|
The first volume of the series, The Elder Gods, is about the invasion of the unsuspecting Zelana's Domain by the hordes of the Vlagh inhabiting the Wasteland center of the Land of Dhrall.
The Elder Gods are each given an infant told to be a Dreamer and are supposed to save the world and defeat the Vlagh. When Eleria, Zelana's child, has the first dream, the Elder Gods go out in search of mercenaries to hire with gold (found useless and common in the land of Dhrall).
Zelana takes to the west of Dhrall to the land of Maag where she forces a storm to bring the ship and crew of Sorgan Hook-Beak to her domain. Hook-Beak is shown that she will pay a large quantity of gold to hire an army from Maag and fight a war. He takes the native archers Longbow and Red-Beard as well as Zelana with her child Eleria to Maag in search of more crews. They find much success but when the Vlagh sends an agent out to convince a crew to destroy Sorgan Hook-Beak and steal the gold, they are stopped thanks to a vision of Eleria. The night they came to attack, Longbow and the small Maag smith of Hook-Beak's crew, Rabbit, destroy the enemy fleet and the Vlagh agent responsible. A tight friendship is made by Rabbit and Longbow.
Meanwhile in the Trogite Empire, south of Dhrall, Veltan has managed to hire a retired army general, Narasan, and his companions Padan, Gunda, Keselo and Jalkan.
The two armies meet in the western domain in surprise due to their extreme dislike for one another but Hook-Beak and Narasan become friends quickly as they plan to stop the foreseen attack in the Ravine above the Dhrall village of Lattash, the home of Red-Beard. Yaltar, the Dreamer of Veltan, foresees that the Vlagh would attack there and that there would be much killing on both sides. As the armies of Maag and the Trogite Empire build their barricades and planned their assault after the warm ocean air, created by Eleria, melts the snow where the Vlagh's servants are waiting, thus creating flooding and winning most of the war then. While Eleria dreams up the flood, Rabbit and Kesselo are informed about the true nature of the gods, and what they really are, and told to keep it a secret from the other outlanders.
Sure enough, Eleria's dream brings forth an extremely warm wind and many servants die in the flood. The native archers dip the arrows in the venom of the dead servants washed down to Lattash to ensure their victory, but the venom was also used with spears and wooden stakes. The remaining creatures of the Vlagh in the ravine met their ends with their own poison.
After the Vlagh's first wave of minions were obliterated, the outlander armies moved north to the top of the ravine and built a fort to prevent the continuous coming of the servants. However, as the fort was finished and the domain of Zelana was seemingly impregnable, the Vlagh's servants revealed their clever trick. They were using creatures to climb the mountain to the fort as decoys so that the bulk of their army would walk through tunnels in the mountain to end up far down in the ravine. The Vlagh had successfully trapped the outlanders as the earth began to shake. Veltan came and warned the outlanders to reach safe ground as Yaltan was having a dream that was about to unleash a behemoth. The outlanders evacuated as two volcanoes of massive power eradicated the Vlagh's creatures by filling up the tunnels and burrows with molten rock. The war had been won by the outlanders.
Zelana was afraid of the capabilities of the Dreams and fled but when she returned, Lattash had to be moved due to the twin volcanoes and the chief of the people of Lattash passed on his title to Red-Beard as the natives and outlanders pondered the next location of the Vlagh's attack.
The Treasured One
|The Treasured One|
|Author(s)||David and Leigh Eddings|
|Media type||Print ( )|
|Preceded by||The Elder Gods|
|Followed by||Crystal Gorge|
The Treasured One is another thriller by Eddings. Narasan and Sorgan move their armies to the Domain of Veltan, where they meet Veltan's friend, Omago. Before their arrival, Veltan had given Omago a knife, and Omago figured out how to turn the knife into a spear, a weapon that was common in the outside world, but unknown to the peaceful people of Veltan's domain. Veltan shows the outlanders his house, which they are shocked to discover is made from one stone. They examine a miniature model of the Domain, and begin to make plans. Omago's wife, Ara, enters, announcing supper is ready, and Jalkan, known for his violent and corrupt nature, suggests she take up prostitution, and Omago hits him. Jalkan attempts to retaliate, but Keselo stops him, and Narasan fires him, ordering Padan to chain him up and throw him in the brig of his flagship, the Victory.
Jalkan escapes and returns to The Trogite Empire, where he reconnects with his former friend and partner-in-crime, Adnari Estarg. Adnari maintains a position of power within the corrupt Amarite church, and is interested in the tales Jalkin brings of abundant gold in the land of Dhrall. The church puts together a large expedition intent on plundering Veltan's domain and selling its peaceful citizens into slavery. However, shortly after they arrive on Dhrall, a supernatural being (later revealed to be Omago's wife, Ara) bewitches the Amarite force into believing that the Wasteland of the Vlagh is covered in gold dust. The church's soldiers, forced into a supernatural frenzy, rush towards the Wasteland, leaving their camp unguarded and freeing the natives whom they have enslaved.
Meanwhile, the combined Armies of Narasan, Sorgan, and Red-Beard, along with a group of farmers-turned-soldiers led by Omago face off against the minions of the Vlagh, who have evolved into three new forms. Bat-insect hybrids serve as scouts for the Vlagh, while large snake-men and giant spiders with shells like turtles comprise its combat force. Although they initially appear formidable, these creatures are revealed to be slow and stupid, and are easily held back by the defenders.
Longbow has a dream in which a mysterious woman (again, later revealed to be Ara) encourages him to pull the defending armies back, thereby allowing the Amarite church's expedition to advance towards the Wasteland. Still believing they will find gold, the church army engages the minions of the Vlagh. While they are fighting, one of the dreamers redirects the course of a river, causing it to drown both invading forces.
|Author(s)||David and Leigh Eddings|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||496 pp (first edition, hardback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-446-53227-4 (first edition, hardback)|
|Preceded by||The Treasured One|
|Followed by||The Younger Gods|
The Crystal Gorge is another book by David Eddings. Like the Treasured one, it is divided into sections which give background information on a particular character, and summarizes the story from the first book to the present from the character's point of view. After the battle in Veltan's domain, the important characters meet at Veltan's home to discuss their next moves. They agree to separate their forces until one of the children gives them an indication to where the servants of the Vlagh are going to mount their third invasion. Narasan and his Trogite soldiers go to Aracia's domain (who knowing that her domain is defenseless tries to convince Dahlaine that the servants of the Vlagh are going to attack her domain next.) In the end they split up their forces, and the Maags go north to Dahlaine's Domain. Rabbit, Longbow, Red-beard and Keselo go with them. Ekial and Veltan go to the land of the Malavi to hire Malavi horse warriors, and then with a little tampering from Veltan get the warriors to Dahlaine's country. They discover that the servants of the Vlagh are stirring up trouble in the numerous clans of Dahlaine's nations. Lillabeth has her dream, which the other Dreamers know about and tell Zelana that Aracia is trying to keep Lillabeth quiet. Zelana goes to intimidate her sister and learn of the dream. The defenders get rid of the insane Atazkan chief and find the source of the plague which is not a plague - it is actually the poison of the servants of the Vlagh. Afterwards, the defenders fortify Crystal Gorge, with the help of the Malavi, the Trogites, and the Maags, the defenders fight back the minions of the Vlagh. Finally, a tornado of fire sweeps through crystal gorge, created by the Dreamers, destroying the servants of the Vlagh.
The Younger Gods
|The Younger Gods|
|Author(s)||David and Leigh Eddings|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||420 pp (first edition, paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-446-61332-0 (first edition, paperback)|
|Preceded by||The Crystal Gorge|
The end of the 25 eons has arrived. The Elder Gods are getting sleepier and sleepier by the second, but are forced to stay awake and alert as Alcevan, a servant of The Vlagh, convinces Aracia to Kill Lillabeth, saying that The 'Wicked Enalla' is trying to usurp Aracia's throne. And by killing Lillabeth, Enalla will be gone too. Aracia, in her insanity, tries to kill Lillabeth only to have it backfire on her. Aracia has ceased to exist.
Meanwhile, Longbow, Omago and others journey to the Wasteland. Omago uses his newly remembered powers to block the Vlagh from the Overmind and order all the bugs out their nest. The Vlagh comes out, as Aracia's copy, and watches as her bug-servants eat the other bugs til there are no more and the Vlagh is all alone. The Vlagh screams out loud, (Omago comments that "It will probably continue on forever") and Longbow is delighted as he had seen the Vlagh suffer, and says that Misty-Water is now avenged. Screaming in the same cave but a different cavern is the servant who convinced Aracia to attempt to kill Lillabeth. And they shall scream for eternity.
Because of Aracia's disappearance, Eleria is convinced to be Aracia's replacement,since Balacenia and her can no longer merge due to vast differences. Namely, her time with Pink dolphins. She asked that Misty-Water be resurrected,for her to accept divinity, though.
Later on, we witness Longbow and Misty-Water's mating. Little Eleria, however, is a teensy bit jealous of them.
The story ends with Zelana going to sleep, with Eleria or Balacenia standing guard over her.
There are eight Gods in the Land of Drahll. Four sleep while the other work for 25 eons, then the cycle ends, and they switch places. Each God, when awake, holds power over one of the Four Domains: North, South, East, and West.
Ara is something beyond the Elder Gods and Dreamers. She is the wife of Omago. She has much more power than the other gods and the Dreamers seem to have a deep connection with them. The Gods call her 'Mother', although only the Younger Gods know that she is Ara. In "The Treasured One", she communicates with Longbow, warning him and the other warriors to get out of the way for the Church Armies of the Trogite Empire that she is controlling. She stays in constant touch with the Dreamers, and in the wars of the North and South, she plays a huge role in the victories over the Vlagh. Everyone refers to her as the 'Unknown Friend'. Trenicia realizes that Ara is Unknown Friend, but is advised to keep it a secret.
- Dalhaine - The Elder God of the North. He was the one who woke the younger gods early, without telling his siblings, and attempted to erase their knowledge of who they were. His Domain is attacked in Crystal Gorge. He lives in a cave on Mt. Shrak with his Dreamer, Ashad (Dakas). He hires an army of horse warriors from the Land of Malavi.
- Aracia - The former Elder God of the East. She lives in a temple in East Drahll with her Dreamer Lillabeth (Enalla) and many servants who keep telling her how beautiful she is. Her Domain is attacked in The Younger Gods. She hired an army of warrior women from the Isle of Akalla.Later obliterates herself in a desperate attempt to keep her power from Lillabeth.
- Zelana - The Elder God of the West. She hid away in a grotto cave on the Isle of Thurn many eons before (she claims a dozen or so) because she was offended by the behaviour of her people. The war drew her and her Dreamer Eleria (Balacenia) out of their home. She hired an army of Maags to fight in the war. Her Domain is attacked in The Elder Gods.
- Veltan - The Elder God of the South. Other than Aracia, he is the only god who frequently visits the people of his Domain, or at least, communicates with them. He lives in a house he made out of only one stone, with his Dreamer Yaltar (Vash). A nearby farmer, Omago, and his wife, Ara, often take care of Yaltar, and everyone in the South of Drahll usually passes information to Veltan through Omago, as they are good friends. His Domain is attacked in "The Treasured One". Like Dalhaine, he has tamed a thunderbolt to ride around on, which comes in handy during the war, particularly in the ravine before the eruption of Yaltar's volcanoes. His thunderbolt is not as well-tamed as Dalhaine's, though, and often showers him with assorted profanities.
The Younger Gods were not supposed to wake up as early as they did, before the end of the Elder Gods' cycle. But Dalhaine felt that they would be of help during the upcoming war against the Vlagh. They were reawoken as the Dreamers, originally with no memory of their past lives. But they begin to break though the mental barrier, starting with Balacenia, and realize who they are, but decide to keep it a secret.
- Dakas/Ashad - Younger God of the North. Ashad was the Dreamer who predicted, in The Treasured One, that the next attack would be on Veltan's Domain, and warned them of a second army coming up from behind. When Dalhaine first brought the Younger Gods back as the Dreamers, he turned to a mother bear named Mama Broken-Tooth to feed him. His "Dream Stone" is rare black agate, which he found in Mama Broken-Tooth's cave.
- Enalla/Lillabeth - Younger God of the East. Lillabeth is Aracia's Dreamer, and her 'Dream Stone' is an abalone seashell. She, like Eleria, has the tendency to call Rabbit 'Bunny'.
- Balacenia/Eleria - Younger God of the West. Eleria is Zelana's Dreamer, the first to have one of the special dreams. She tends to be a very sweet little child, and some people tend to pick up her childish phrases, such as 'Kiss-kiss' and 'Teenie-weenie'. Her 'Dream Stone' is a large pink pearl the size of an apple.
- Vash/Yaltar - Younger God of the South. Yaltar is Veltan's Dreamer. His 'Dream Stone' is a fire opal. His first dream pinpointed the exact location of the first attack, in the ravine near Lattash.
The Land of Maag lies to the west of Dhrall. Its inhabitants tend to be rather rowdy, and most make their living as pirates.
- Captain Sorgan Hook-Beak - Captain of the Seagull. Zelana placed him in charge of all the Maag armies she hired for the war. Eleria teases him by calling him "Hook-Big". His two cousins, Skell and Torl, have command over other parts of his fleet, but he still in charge of the entire fleet.
- Rabbit - Smithy on the Seagull. Many thought he was dim-witted, but he actually hid his cleverness to avoid being set difficult tasks. He discovered he could tell the position of the ship by the stars in the sky, and is the only one who knows that the Seagull is farther away from the Land of Maag than everyone else thinks. Eleria and Lillabeth call him "Bunny", and in return, he calls her "Baby Sister". He, Keselo, and Longbow are good friends. One of the first outlanders to learn the secret of the Dreamers, the other being Keselo.
- Skell - Sorgan's elder cousin. Led the advance fleet of Maags to Lattash.
- Ox - Sorgan's first mate. Described by Rabbit as having 'muscles on top of muscles from his head to his toenails'.
- Kryda Ham-Hand - Sorgan's second mate. Named after his meaty hands.
- Kaldo Tree-top - Crow's nest crewman on the Seagull. Tallest Maag, noted to be 'well over seven feet tall' in "The Elder Gods".
- Hammer - Smith on The Shark. Was skeptical about Longbow's archery skills, so he had to walk around half a mile down the beach with a clamshell, only to have Longbow shatter it with an arrow, to get proof.
- Kajak - Maag ship captain. Rallied his four cousins in "The Elder Gods" to attack the Seagull in the Maag port of Kweta, and steal the hundred blocks of gold on board. He was thwarted when Eleria had a dream warning them of the attack. She and Zelana informed Longbow, who enlisted Rabbit's help. Kajak was killed by one of Longbow's arrows, while screaming at his men to stop running away.
The Trogite Empire lies south of Dhrall, and its inhabitants are slightly more civilized than those of Maag.
- Commander Narasan - Commander of the Trogite army hired by Veltan to fight in the War of Dhrall. He threw away his uniform when his nephew Astal was killed in battle, and only returned to his military career when Veltan approached him with his offer. Until then, Keselo was often sent to try to persuade him.
- Keselo - Junior officer in Narasan's army. Described as being more clever than most of the senior officers, and known for spoiling good, long arguments by coming up with simple compromises. Has developed a friendship with Rabbit, Red-Beard, and Longbow, as well as Omago. One of the first outlanders to learn of the gods' secrets.
- Gunda - He is a 'first-rate' fort builder and thinks everything is about twice as big, as written in the first book, "The Elder Gods". He is Narasan's childhood friend, along with Padan.
- Andar - A Subcommander in Narasan's army. He terrorizes Holy Takal Bersla of Aracia's Temple, with the threat of 'cannibalism', when Bersla doesn't believe that Aracia's domain is in any harm from the Vlagh's bugs.
- Padan - Narasan's childhood friend. He pretends to be a Maag in the fourth book, "The Younger Gods"
Zelana's/Balacenia's Domain (WEST)
- Longbow - A member of Chief Old-Bear's tribe, he is described as "A tall,man with long blond braids and wearing leather clothing, quite lean, with a hard face." He is extremely skilled with a bow, never missing a target. He hates the Vlagh with such a passion that he dedicated more than half his life to kill It and the Bug People. It is later revealed that a mutated bug,from the Vlagh, had killed Misty-Water (Longbow's Bride), on the day of Longbow's wedding.
- Red-beard - Reluctant Chieftain of (new) Lattash,after the first Lattash was destroyed by Yaltar's (Vash) lava,from the twin volcanoes he made erupt to kill the Bug People (The previous chief, White-Braid, was distraught, and sank into depression). He has a whole section of the third book, "Crystal Gorge" dedicated to him, aptly titled "The Reluctant Chieftain"
Veltan's/Vash's Domain (SOUTH)
- Omago - Ara's husband Omago. He received education from Veltan when he was younger. In the last book, he is revealed to be "Eternal Omago" the father of the 8 Gods Of Dhrall
- Ara - Omago's wife. She first saw Omago when she was sixteen, quite bluntly saying "My name is Ara. I'm sixteen years old and I want you!". She is the Treasured One, Longbow's 'unknown friend', and The Mother of The 8 Gods of Dhrall
Dahlaine's/Dakas' Domain (NORTH)
Athlan, Tlantar Two-Hands and the different "Nations" set up by Elder God Dahlaine of the North
Aracia's/Enalla's Domain (EAST)
None. The Maags and Trogites did the work, the priests were ordered to assist them, but they complained quite loudly.
- Queen Trenicia- Warrior Queen of the isle Akalla. Most men appear inferior to her, but she falls in love with Narasan, leader of the trogite army.